Carsome closes US$50M Series C; aims to be operationally profitable by end-2020

Carsome, a used-car trading platform in Malaysia with a presence in several other markets in Southeast Asia, has completed its US$50 million Series C round in a combination of equity and debt investments.

Investors include MUFG Innovation Partners, the corporate VC arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Daiwa PI Partners, the PE arm of Japan’s Daiwa Securities, besides Endeavor Catalyst and Ondine Capital.

The round also saw participation from existing investors, including Gobi Partners and Convergence Ventures.

The capital will help “consolidate Carsome’s market leadership in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, with expansion into more cities in Southeast Asia”, and to accelerate financing product offerings for dealers and consumers with multi-country roll-outs over the next 12 months.

As part of the strategic investment, Carsome will collaborate with MUFG and its subsidiaries in Southeast Asia to provide integrated financing access for dealers and consumers via its platform. MUFG owns both Danamon (a bank and automotive financing company in Indonesia), and Krungsri (Thailand’s fifth-largest bank in terms of loans and deposits).

Through this collaboration, MUFG and its subsidiaries will have the ability to provide B2B and B2C financing on Carsome’s platform.

Carsome is a one-stop-shop for car sellers, providing a full-stack selling solution from inspection to ownership transfer. Currently, the platform claims to be transacting more than 40,000 cars annually, totalling more than US$300 million in transacted value.

To date, Carsome has a coverage of more than 6,000 dealers across over 50 cities in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore on its platform.

The firm is in Malaysia and targets profitability in the remaining markets by end-2020.

Carsome has over 700 employees across its Southeast Asia offices.

Eric Cheng, Co-founder and CEO of Carsome, said: “With over 4 million used car transactions annually in Southeast Asia, Carsome transacts 1 per cent of annual second-hand car sales in the region. We have helped over 6,000 dealers in growing their businesses and have become their closest working partners. We have also served over a million customers with a whole new experience in car trading – transparent, convenient and the fastest of its kind.”

“We aspire to be the Visa/Master network of auto transactions, and build a collaborative ecosystem of partners to provide the best experience to consumers in Southeast Asia,” he added.

In March 2018, Carsome raised US$19 million in Series B funding led by Burda Principal Investments, alongside Gobi Partners, Convergence Ventures, Indogen Capital, InnoVen Capital and Lumia Capital. It then followed with a US$8 million extension round in August 2018, led by the family office of Joe Hirao, Founder of Tokyo-headquartered ZIGExN.

Carsome also recently announced key strategic senior hires with Danny Chin, former CMO of redONE, coming on board as CMO, and Chet Sin, FWD Insurance’s former Head of IT and Digital Commerce, joining as CTO.

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